Analytics Specialist SAS Joins the Cloud-Based Pay-As-You-Go Movement

Cloud-based, pay-as-you-go software is what users expect today. Analytics software provider SAS is bringing its Viya platform into this new age with a Microsoft Azure Marketplace offering.

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor

October 3, 2022

3 Min Read
SAS logo
Kristoffer Tripplaar via Alamy Stock Photos

Longtime independent analytics specialist SAS announced at its user conference a pay-as-you go pricing model available now. The new offering puts SAS’s cloud-based Viya platform in the Azure Marketplace, and it also includes in-app tutorials and support for multiple languages.

Currently, Azure is the only cloud provider where SAS is offering this service, but a spokesperson said other public clouds are part of the plan, although a timeline for that is not available.

Pricing for SAS Viya on Azure is 55 cents per hour, based on utilized virtual CPU clusters, according to SAS. The platform includes a host of SAS applications such as Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning, Model Manager, Information Governance, Visual Analytics, and Visual Statistics.

While pay-as-you-go represents a new model for SAS, it’s a common one that is popular with users in cloud marketplaces. These days it’s table stakes. SAS has finally arrived at that table.

Forrester VP and principal analyst Mike Gualtieri says it’s about time.

“With pay-as-you-go, SAS is meeting the pricing expectations customers have for cloud services,” says Gualtieri. “So this is more ‘it’s about time’ than a differentiated pricing model from other vendors.”

What Pay-As-You-Go Means for SAS

Still, now that pay-as-you-go has arrived for SAS, it could open up the floodgates for a whole new class of customers that haven’t been exposed to the company’s analytics tech in the past. That expansion is part of the plan, according to SAS CIO and EVP Jay Upchurch. In his role at SAS, Upchurch oversees IT globally for SAS, including the company’s portfolio of enterprise applications, data, and data analytics.

Speaking in his role as the head of IT at SAS, Upchurch notes that "In an enterprise software purchase we’re going to negotiate, and we’ve got to make sure it’s secure, and we take time to install it right, and there’s a whole process around our line-of-business.”

But for years now there’s been a new class of users -- non-IT users -- who buy cloud services directly from cloud marketplaces, often without involving IT.

“Nearly all the time my internal customers say ‘I need to get this faster. We need to access this now.’ This offer allows line-of-business customers to purchase and install software safely in their own Azure tenant and gain access to it immediately,” Upchurch says.

SAS CTO and EVP Bryan Harris said in a statement, “Making SAS Viya available to entire analytics organizations is our goal, regardless of skill level, team, or preferred programming language.”

Analytics in the Public Cloud

Market research firm IDC forecasts that analytics software deployment on public clouds will match on-premises deployments by 2024.

Separately, a Gartner forecast for November 2021 said that two-thirds of analytics for both development and production will be performed in the cloud by 2023.

SAS is not the only traditional on-premises analytics specialist headed for the cloud. Earlier this year, Alteryx announced its Alteryx Analytics Cloud, which the company called its first unified end-to-end analytics automation platform, incorporating a number of its technologies.

Companies such as SAS and Alteryx are competing with born-in-the-cloud analytics specialist platforms as well as analytics tools created by the big three cloud providers -- Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and AWS -- even as their success in the cloud depends on their own deployments in those same public clouds.

What to Read Next:

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About the Author(s)

Jessica Davis

Senior Editor

Jessica Davis is a Senior Editor at InformationWeek. She covers enterprise IT leadership, careers, artificial intelligence, data and analytics, and enterprise software. She has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology. Follow her on twitter: @jessicadavis.

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